Need Mid-High End Laptop Recommendations

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by IchigoK2031, Jul 28, 2010.

Jul 28, 2010
  1. IchigoK2031
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    Member IchigoK2031 Wannabe Shirow Miwa...

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    So I started looking at laptops for college this summer, while I prefer a PC, I'm leaving a Mac as an option as well. I want a mid- to high end.

    Some things I'm looking for:

    At least Core i5
    Internal Optical Drive Preferable (like the HP Envy is nice, but has an external)
    Windows 7(given)
    6 - 8GB RAM
    Dedicated Graphics, or switchable graphics w/ Nvidia Optimus
    Decent battery time 4-6 hours.

    So anyone have any recommendations?
     
  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I assume you need 6+GB of RAM for photoshop or some other heavy image/video editing app. If you want to have a 4-6h battery life, you'd either have to look for a laptop with a mid-ranged GPU or with hybrid power (switching to Intel's GMA HD4500 IGP built into the CPU). Hybrid graphics support tends to raise the price considerably.

    First suggestion is Alienware. Dell let you customize it to your needs with a choice of just about every part. Naturally the price escalates too, but you get what you pay for.

    Based on a quick internet search, look at some of the high-end Sony VAIO machines like the VPCF11Z1E/BI, or maybe MSI F series (which have that Optimus thing you mentioned that sounds just like hybrid graphics from other manufacturers). The Acer Aspire 8943 may also be worth a look, but it's 18" big and estimated to have a 3h battery life (probably less with the i7 and HD5850 configuration).
     
  3. Hakoda

    Member Hakoda GBAtemp Addict

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    If you want Macbook Pro then the price will be $2200 for an Intel Core i5 @ 2.4Ghz & 8GB of RAM (no 6GB) but you get a free iPod Touch! At that price, I'd definietly choose a PC considering the economy.
     
  4. f3ar000

    Member f3ar000 GBAtemp Regular

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  5. Santee

    Member Santee Jalapeño

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  6. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    There's not really all that much difference between these two laptops; (1) the ASUS K42LC-B1 and the (2) Sager NP5125; the only noticable noticable difference to me is that hte Sager has the capability for a much higher native resolution (1377x768 (ASUS)) versus (1920x1080)(If you choose that upgrade). The other difference is in the choice of GPU at which the Sager is stronger with a 330M in comparison to the 310M on the asus laptop (which is on sale) and ofers USB 3.0 capability (but does that really matter with the number of USB ports?)

    The alienware M11x on the otherhand is a nice laptop, it's definitely got a lot of things going for it; but, I for one, am a bit curious how the processors would perform in comparison to a larger laptop. The M11x uses downclocked i5/i7 processors the i5-520UM and the i7-640UM; and I wonder what matters most to you or whether you still deem these i5/i7. They're both overclockable (1.86 and 2.26 respectively)(w/ turboboost) but that raises the question of whether you'd rather have a "true" i5-i7 mobile processor that turbo-boosts to higher frequencies. i5 being dual core, i7 being quad.

    The M11x has a lot more longevity/potential with battery life because it too has an integrated graphics/optimus solution (the core2duo version doesn't have this capability). I'm betting that it would last longer than both of the laptops I listed above, and the graphics are stronger, but the processor (may)(others can help you with this) be a bit weaker. You can't via-dell-upgrades, upgrade to 6GB of RAM, if it's something your adament about and you want this laptop, I'd check into seeing whether it's user-upgradable (or whether you can get it shipped and put the ram in yourself. (4gb x 1)(2gb x 1)(etc). It also only has a 160gb base drive unlike the two larger laptops above.

    Ultimately, as I said before it comes down to what you think YOU need; you pay a premium for alienware regardless here, but it does offer some benefits (the gpu mainly). On the otherhand, I'm writing to you in the dark on my M15x, with a green glowing keyboard; the other advantage to the other two computers listed above is that aren't nearly as flashy...I feel embarassed sometimes when I take this out when I'm working at school; you can turn the lights off, but the entire design screams "look at me", though the portability is much better with an 11'' laptop I'd imagine.

    -/2aven
     
  7. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    USB3 is a rarity in laptops, but they are slowly starting to emerge with 1 USB3 port. Naturally, USB3 is far superior to USB2 in that it provides 0.9A instead of 0.5A, which can support up to 10x speeds (theoretically). This has yet to be achieved in PCs, but there's still a speed boost over USB2. More often, you'll see eSATA/USB2 mixed ports which are supposed to offer up to 5x speed of normal USB2 (according to MSI).

    I played around with the dell upgrades for the m17x earlier and it did offer up to 8GB RAM (2x4GB) at around $250 extra, along with a wide choice of CPUs and GPUs, and even offering a higher resolution screen. By the end of it, it reached around $2300, and I was being reserved. I didn't bother with the M11x, even with its fancy power saving features, because I really don't like such small screens.
     
  8. IchigoK2031
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    Member IchigoK2031 Wannabe Shirow Miwa...

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    Thanks for the recommendations guys, I'll take a look, and see which one is best for my needs. [​IMG]
    I definitely prefer a true i5/i7, I have looked at the m11x, the screen is way to small I usually want something around 13" minimum to 15" max.
    Thanks again guys.
     
  9. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    for what reason do you need 6 - 8GB of ram?

    more ram != faster computer
     
  10. Hakoda

    Member Hakoda GBAtemp Addict

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    I'd also like to know this. If its just for school then all you'd need is 4GB. Are you doing anything major?
     
  11. IchigoK2031
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    Member IchigoK2031 Wannabe Shirow Miwa...

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    I do lots of photo, video, and audio editing, and I tend to run lots of applications at once, so I need a good amount of ram...
     
  12. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    Definitely browse around xoticpc.com and sagernotebook.com

    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np7110-built-...10m-p-2854.html >>> 17 inch.
    i7-620M (2.66-3.33(TurboBoost) dual core w/ HT), 6GB RAM $1200, 1600x900 resolution.

    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np2180-built-...?wconfigure=yes
    >>> 15.6'' 1920x1080, Radeon 5650 GPU, i5/i7(QM options)(The newer ones if you so desire) Otherwise the i7-620M is availible as well. 6GB ram $1100

    http://www.xoticpc.com/force-1656id5-built...?wconfigure=yes
    >>> $1350, 1680x1050, 6GB RAM, 5850 GPU.

    i7-620M and i7-720QM upgrades are usually around the same cost. If you talk to the support on this site they'd be willing to shift components around for your order I'm sure if you ask! If you look at the forums you can see for yourself how good their support is.
     
  13. IchigoK2031
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    Member IchigoK2031 Wannabe Shirow Miwa...

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    Thank you! [​IMG] Seems like a lot of people like xoticpc, I'll take a look around there some more [​IMG]
     
  14. seedvt

    Member seedvt GBAtemp Regular

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    I just ordered a U30JC (with an i5)

    Specs wise:

    Core i5 430M (2.26 GHz + turbo)
    Windows 7 Pro
    4GB DDR3 1066
    13.3" screen - 1366x768 resolution
    500GB hard drive
    Nvidia Optimus (GeForce 310M and Intel GMA HD)
    8 cell, 84 Wh battery

    Reviews by Anandtech and others say that it can do about 7 hours on light usage, such as web browsing and office, and around 4 hours when the Nvidia card is needed.


    I'll report back here when I get my hands on it. I also plan to stick a 2.5" hard drive caddy into where the DVD drive should be.
     
  15. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    You never mentioned the price you paid (I've been looking for a similar laptop for a friend). Also, I didn't know they did 8 cell batteries - it's usually 3, 6 or 9 cells (my HP tx2550ea came with 3 AND 6 cell batteries, with obvious differences in size).

    Offtopic: Is that 'Tenori Taiga' in the corner of your avatar picture?
     
  16. seedvt

    Member seedvt GBAtemp Regular

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    Yep. [​IMG]
     
  17. jgu1994

    Member jgu1994 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Don't know if this will help or not or even apply to you but a bit of advice, try to buy from the university you're going to. They usually offer plans so that in case you're laptop dies on you, they'll swap the hard drive into a new laptop right away. The plans can cost a bit but if you're laptop does suddenly decide to stop working before a deadline, you'll be able to get a backup.
     
  18. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    Yeah, that's true, but most people (should)/just keep their major projects on a flash drive these days, then they're accessible more or less anywhere with the right knowledge. Also, it really doesn't take a genius to swap out HDD's I did mine a few months ago and the most trouble I had was just unscrewing the drive out of the bay and swapping it (the bay) before rescrewing everything back in.
     
  19. IchigoK2031
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    Member IchigoK2031 Wannabe Shirow Miwa...

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    Well I'm not going to college THIS year, but after this year I am, and I haven't gotten a new computer for close to 4 years, so I need a new computer sooner rather than later, and I figure I might as well use it for college.
     

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